Washington County Briefs


Public hearing set on bond sale


The Washington County Board of Commissioners holds a Sept. 4 public hearing to authorize its general obligation pledge to refinance county Housing and Redevelopment Authority bonds.

The WCHRA recently finished an evaluation of its affordable housing bond portfolio to maintain long-term affordable housing options for families and senior citizens, reduce debt service costs and minimize pressure on the annual levy. This requests completes the financial restructuring of bond issues.

The hearing considers the county’s general obligation bonds that finance the 180-unit Woodland Park in Cottage Grove and the 40-unit Brick Pond in Stillwater. Woodland Park has a 98 percent occupancy rate, Brick Pond has a 95 percent occupancy rate.

The existing interest rates are 4.7 percent for Woodland Park and 4.4 percent for Brick Pond. Assuming a Sept. 12 bond issue date, it is estimated that the blended average rate will drop to 3.8 percent of lower, resulting in annual savings of about $200,000 for 19 years, or estimated future value savings of $3.7 million.

Apple orchard gets liquor license


A liquor license request from Afton Apple Orchard was approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

The board issued the orchard its liquor license after Denmark Township approved a Sunday liquor license for the business that is required by ordinance.

The business must also meet insurance requirements. The Sheriff’s and County Attorney’s offices and Department of Public Health and Environment previously approved license application.


Part of center to get new roof


The quickly deteriorating roof on the north wing of the Washington County Government Center and older portion of the courthouse will be replaced this year under a plan approved Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners.

A 2009 inspection of north wing roof found it in poor condition. There was excessive shrinking of the roof membrane in several areas, especially at expansion joints and high wall, low roof intersections.

Other issues discovered in the inspection includes the membrane pulling or tearing from under metal flashing, leaving some areas exposed to moisture. The typical roof membrane life is 15 years and the north wing roof is 22 to 24 years old.

Replacement of the north wing roof was in the county’s 2013 capital improvement plan, but the condition of the roof forced officials to move the work up to this year. The project’s estimated cost is $850,000, with the funds coming from the county’s fund balance.

When finished, the new roof will eliminate water seeping into the building and prevent indoor air quality issues and equipment damage.